August 9, 2022

Open Court


Video: When Roger Federer met Rafael Nadal…

KEY BISCAYNE – Had Roger Federer not been tardy, their paths might not have crossed.

But as longtime rivals Federer and Rafael Nadal both worked the room Tuesday at the Miami Open, doing their media interviews along with a plethora of other promotional-type stuff (some really lame, some kind of fun), they met.

Here’s a little of what it looked like.

You can see some of what’s involved – TV and big-screen promos, signing programs and tennis balls and, in this particular case, filming a bunch of GIFs the Miami Open has put together for the fans to use as appropriate. It’s just a small part of all the duties the players have during an event.

You can find all the GIFs here.

Federer picked and chose which ones he wanted to do, as you can see above. No biceps flexing for him; he left that to compatriot Stan Wawrinka.

And Nadal? He would have none of it. Can’t blame him. We’re remembering a year ago when he played along with an Indian Wells “fun game”, and the result was …

By the end of it, the two were in the same part of the room. And it’s probably no surprise to anyone that it was Nadal who made the first move to go over to say hey to his longtime friend and rival and shake his hand. It was emblematic of the sort of dynamic they have in their relationship, and it was really gracious.

That’s when Federer found out that Nadal was taking a pass on the GIF thing.

“You’re not doing it? You BASTARD!” Federer exclaimed.

We shouldn’t really have to clarify, but social media being the literal media that it is, and remembering some of the dodgy headlines after the Indian Wells trophy ceremony involving Wawrinka and Federer, let’s just make it clear.


(For the record)(It’s also likely he directed that at Benito Perez Barbadillo, Nadal’s longtime PR man)